Kathleen Maynard

Year Joined MKLM: 2016
Country: Brazil
City: São Paulo
Focus: Healthcare, Disease Prevention and Youth Education, Women in prison
Project(s): Bem Me Quer, Casa Ninho, Pastoral de Menor, SEFRAS, Pastoral Carcerária
People Served: Children with Cancer, Adults with HIV/AIDS, At-Risk Adolescents, Women

Project Goal(s): To help people with HIV/AIDS, assist children with cancer, provide wellness to marginalized youth, comfort women in prison

Current Ministry:

Kathleen is in mission with her husband, Marcelo Maiorano, and their two children, Cecilia and Maëlle. Kathleen’s current ministries are focused on providing holistic support to individuals facing health challenges and on promoting wellness among at-risk youth at a youth resource center. She also comforts women in prison. Kathleen’s studies and work as a nurse practitioner are enabling her to provide information and support, to promote health among vulnerable populations. Here are her current projects:

Kathleen has continued her work at Bem Me Quer on the periphery of São Paulo in Perus. With Bem Me Quer, she engages her nursing skills as she assists HIV/AIDs prevention projects and helps develop their Hepatitis C prevention project. Her work is focused on distributing more information about HIV/AIDs prevention throughout São Paulo, improving access to testing and treatment for HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C, and working on the team of Bem Me Quer to plan workshops and other educational opportunities.

At Casa Ninho, Kathleen does yoga with the children there, who are from all over Brazil. They are living at the Casa while receiving cancer treatment in São Paulo. Kathleen is so inspired by the resilience and warmth of these children who are going through difficult treatments and often have uncertain prognoses. Despite doing chemotherapy and having to take a long list of oral medications, despite many surgeries, despite often being far from their homes in far-off corners of Brazil, these children run to the door when Kathleen shows up each week, ready to try some yoga, read some stories, do some art or engage in whatever activity is on the docket.

Pastoral do Menor is a program organized by the Church that provides after-school activities for children on the periphery of São Paulo. Kathleen teaches a yoga class weekly to the children in Perus who attend the Pastoral do Menor.

She has just begun working with SEFRAS on another HIV/AIDs prevention project that is oriented toward prevention among youth. The current project is with Indigenous youth living on the periphery of São Paulo in the Aldeia. They are using hiking, art, and music activities to encourage the youth to express their points of view about society, health, and resilience.

Kathleen is also co-facilitating a course on Women’s Health for women living in prison with their babies. She collaborates with fellow lay missioner Kathy Bond on this project, which is sponsored by the Pastoral Carcerária in São Paulo, and reflects, “I deeply enjoy the time we spend with mothers and babies each week discussing health topics. The women in prison are incredibly curious and ready to engage in learning collaboratively. Women help develop our syllabus by suggesting topics they want to learn more about. We provide information and facilitate a discussion on each week’s topic. Another dynamic of this course is exercise – we either begin or end each class with yoga exercises, and the women enthusiastically participate. I am so inspired by the resilience and hope of the women in prison – caring for their babies, connecting with their babies, caring for one another despite difficult and often unjust circumstances.”

The final component of the Women’s Health Course is Shantala Baby Massage. Kathy Bond, her co-facilitator, leads this element of the course, which is included on days when the weather is warm and the babies are in a good space for massage. Kathleen and Kathy teach Shantala as a strategy for women to connect more deeply with their babies and as a relaxation technique for both mothers and babies.

Personal Data:

Kathleen was born in Portland, Maine, and grew up in Jackson, New Hampshire – a small town nestled in the White Mountains. After graduating from Colby College in 2009 with a Bachelor in History, she served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Juneau, Alaska. Kathleen worked with young mothers, young fathers, and their babies at a ‘Young Parent Center’ in Juneau. Teaching Women’s Health and Child Development at the alternative high school, preparing family activities, planning weekly family meals, and organizing outings for youth were her main projects at the Young Parent Center.

After her service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Kathleen returned to school and earned a Master in Nursing from Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing in 2013. From 2013 to 2016, she worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Memorial Hospital’s Primary Care Practice in North Conway, NH. She cared for patients of all ages – providing wellness visits, disease prevention, nutrition education, and addressing acute illness and injury. While living there, Kathleen and her husband were part of the ‘Our Lady of the Mountains’ parish located in North Conway. During their three years in New Hampshire, daughters Cecilia and Maëlle were born.